Shipbuilding Unions call for plan to secure skilled workforce at ASC shipbuilding

The Australian Shipbuilding Federation of Unions (ASFU) condemned today’s announcement by ASC Shipbuilding that they would begin the process of making another 49 workers redundant.

“Making another 49 skilled workers redundant in the lead up to the Future Frigate and Future Submarine projects ramping up is bad for these workers and bad for workforce capability”, said ASFU South Australia Convener Peter Bauer.

“These job losses are the direct result of the poor planning and lack of investment by the Marshall Liberal State Government and the Morrison Federal Government. They’ve washed their hands of any responsibility for ensuring workforce capability and it is workers and their livelihoods who are suffering as a result”, said Mr Bauer.

These redundancies are the latest in a string of job losses at ASC Shipbuilding. Since former Defence Industry Minister said that the shipbuilding “valley of death” was over in October 2017, more than 400 skilled shipbuilding workers have been made redundant.

“All the evidence shows that once skilled workers leave the industry, they don’t come back. If these jobs are not retained, the Government will face greater costs to retrain new entrants to the industry, and these major shipbuilding programs will be put at risk”, Mr Bauer said.

“These workers could be employed on the sustainment of the Collins Class Submarines, but instead they are being made redundant. These redundancies have serious implications for our sovereign capability.

“It’s time for the State and Federal Governments to work with ASC Shipbuilding and the ASFU to save these jobs and ensure South Australia has the skilled workforce we need to deliver the upcoming Future Frigate and Future Submarine programs. The Government should be working with the successful tenderer of Future Frigate Program, BAE to redeploy these workers throughout their supply chain and associated entities”, Mr Bauer said.

/Public Release.